I have been looking forward to writing this post for several months. Now that I’ve finally gotten around to it, I am excited to share this message of faith.
I love reading the stories about the women of biblical times. When I think of women like Rachel, Mary, Ruth and Rahab, I know each one became known for her own unique qualities and character. I personally fell in love with the essence of who Sarah was many years ago when I read Song of Abraham by Ellen Traylor. This talented author’s sensitivity to biblical truths provides us with a fictional, yet realistic, account of the life of Abraham and his wife.
A PROMISE IS GIVEN
Abraham’s unwavering faith in God remains an amazing testimony and example to many of us today. However, I cannot help but be intrigued and inspired by this woman who stood faithfully by his side. She left her homeland and the many comforts it afforded her to follow her husband on a journey of unknown destination. It was a journey that brought them much hardship and pain. But it was also one of obedience and great faith.
The Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you.” Genesis 12:1-2
I wonder if many of us would be willing to respond in the same obedience if our 75-year-old husband came to us with a similar story as Abraham did to Sarah.
Would we leave family, home and personal possessions at the prime age of retirement. Especially when we didn’t know where we were going? Would we be willing to travel, mostly in discomfort, with no permanent home structure?
Just something to think about.
WHO IS THIS WOMAN OF FAITH?
Not only known for her beauty, Sarah was also a woman of extraordinary character. She was strong, independent and a bit feisty. And, she loved her husband. Her love for Abraham was beautifully expressed through her submission, her respect and her honor of him. She came from a family of idol worshipers, yet, she chose to believe in her husband’s one true God. It was here that Sarah’s faith began to grow.
She is mentioned more times than any other woman in the bible and is, of course, the Matriarch of the Jewish nation. All this has made her one of the most important women of biblical times and of history in general.
But even this great Matriarch had her moments. She struggled with the promises of God. Well, one promise in particular.
Abraham was 75 years old when God initially gave him the promise that he would be “a father of many nations.” This promise was renewed 15 years later when Sarah was 80 years old.
“..I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.” Genesis 13:16
The problem with this?
Sarah was barren!
SARAH’S WEAKNESS EXPOSED AND HER FAITH TESTED
How does one become a father to as many as the numbers of the stars when you are old and your wife is old and barren? What a promise for God to make!! No wonder Sarah laughed when what she heard sounded so absurd!
But wait a minute, maybe this promise can be fulfilled through Hagar’s son, Ishmael. You see, Sarah got an ‘Ishmael’ when she tried to fulfill God’s promise herself. She thought God was taking just a little bit too long and the wait became unbearable. So she took matters into her own hands and recruited Hagar, her maid, to become a surrogate mother.
Have you ever noticed that any substitution to God’s plans comes with difficulties, creates conflict or even lead to sin? Do you have an ‘Ishmael’ in your life? A substitute for the real deal?Have you ever noticed that any substitution to God's plans comes with difficulties, creates conflict or even lead to sin?Click To Tweet
I’m wondering why God waited so long. 25 years to be exact to fulfill this great promise. Maybe he thought Abraham and Sarah, though growing strong in their faith, still weren’t ready. Or maybe he thought once he fulfilled the promise they would love the fulfillment more than they loved him. Even as I ponder this thought my mind wrestle with my own unfulfilled promises. I, too, am in the waiting period, many times tempted to pursue my own ‘Ishmael’. Despite this, still God is as gracious to me as he was to Sarah.
In her moment of weakness God challenged Sarah’s faith.
“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18:14
IT TAKES FAITH TO RECEIVE A PROMISE
How about you? Do you have moments of weakness? Have you ever struggled with maintaining your faith while waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled in your life?
Maybe God is calling you to take a step of faith in something that absolutely makes no sense to you right now. I am reminded in one of my previous post, Living by faith, I wrote that “faith is not logical. The act of true faith sometimes leave us incapable of grasping or comprehending the miraculous events that can take place when we choose to believe.” 'Faith is not logical. The act of true faith sometimes leave us incapable of grasping or comprehending the miraculous events that can take place when we choose to believe.'Click To Tweet
That is exactly what Abraham and Sarah did. They chose to believe against the odds. Their waiting was greatly rewarded by the fulfilment of God’s promise when Sarah gave birth to their son, Isaac. Not only was the promise fulfilled but in it God’s power was revealed and his purpose accomplished.
Sarah, this woman who stood tall beside her husband, played a tremendous role in the fulfilment of God’s promise. She loved Abraham. This was seen in her willingness to submit to his leadership as he too was led by God. She also loved God. Though she had her moments, Sarah remained steadfast in her faith and remembered God’s promise. It was her journey through the hardships that now allow us to recognize her true faithfulness.
Will you allow Sarah to inspire you to believe and trust in God’s faithfulness?
“God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” Genesis 21:6
Come on sweet friends, let us journey together by faith today. God bless you!